Alice Sarti

alice sarti

Alice is a mother, writer, advocate and professional asker of challenging questions. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from NYU and a Master’s degree from Duke in postcolonial African and African-American literature, where she also taught undergraduates in these subjects. Alice began working for racial justice her senior year in college, when Amadou Diallo was shot and killed by 41 bullets from NYC police officers.

In the intervening years, Alice has worked in a wide variety of roles including non-profit work for educational equity, arts in activism, equitable mental health access and the cultivation of challenging and compassionate white affinity spaces. While Alice has studied and been active in racial justice work for most of her adult life, it’s been her years spent as a spoken word artist and slam poet – listening to literally thousands of hours of testimony from black artists across the country – that she credits with offering the greatest personal insights into the gaping inequities in white and Black America. It also showed her the resonant twin powers of listening and silence to advance understanding. Alice was humbled to represent Durham, NC in the Individual World Poetry Slam. Her poetry collection, Psalms from the Psych Ward, is an unflinching examination of a grueling, year-long battle with postpartum bipolar depression. This experience led to Alice’s work advocating for mental health reform – sharing her testimony from college classrooms to churches to NPR – while highlighting glaring issues of unequal mental health access for people of color.

After the murder of Jonathan Ferrell in 2013, Alice partnered with other artists in a collective based out of Greensboro, NC, called Artists4Justice, to leverage art in anti-racism direct action. One of the outcomes of that collaboration of artists and community leaders is Listening Sessions, launched in 2018. A unique event co-created & co-facilitated by poet and activist Lavinia Jackson, Listening Sessions invites white women to bear silent witness to the testimonies of Black women and then begin locating and reckoning with white supremacy in our own lives. Alice has also led a series of Question Sessions for white people seeking greater understanding about police brutality and the general state of white supremacy in America. She currently works with non-profits and community organizations to cultivate and educate white affinity spaces where truth and compassion are held in a productive tension. Alice works full-time in corporate America, where she has recently partnered with HR stakeholders to prioritize HBCU recruitment and leadership opportunities. Today she considers her most important work to support and galvanize other white people moving into greater humanity through identifying and divesting from whiteness.